The VICARTE research unit has developed studies about deterioration and biodeterioration of glass, stained glass and majolica glazed tiles. Laboratory-based induced corrosion and biocolonization experiments have been being performed to study degradation patterns. From this, mock-ups were are being created for testing commercial and the new developed cleaning products.

The main aim of the ongoing projects is the study of corrosion mechanisms, both outdoor and indoor, and the development of new and sustainable products and methodologies to prevent the deterioration of objects and the loss of cultural value.

With this investigation VICARTE is making a tangible contribution for the long term preservation of our Cultural Heritage.

At VICARTE recent investigations have produced significant advances on the understanding of glass and glazed surfaces and their degradation. In the near future, the studies will be focused on:

  1. degradation of glass-based materials in stained-glass (glasses, grisailles and enamels) resulting from their exposure to different atmospheres. Thermography will be used to study stained glass window degradation due to thermal variations;
  2. lichen biodeterioration on tiles, evaluating the influence of environmental conditions on its colonization, testing efficacy and safety of various cleaning methods, and developing conservation strategies for tiles exposed outdoors;
  3. glass alteration by atmospheric water, acid gases and particulates, of objects in indoor conditions, a well-known problem in museums. VICARTE is a partner in the European project submission "SensArt: low-cost SENsor development for preventive conservation of cultural ARTefact", call NMBP-33-2018, focusing on monitoring the presence of acid gases and particulates in vitrines and on their removal using supercritical CO2.